Specialists in Beijing at 301 PLAGH Hospital conducting diagnosis by remotely...
Specialists in Beijing at 301 PLAGH Hospital conducting diagnosis by remotely operating robot arm located in the Leishenshan Hospital which is an emergency specialty field hospital built in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan city.

© MGI Tech Co., Ltd.

Early imaging assessment of Covid-19

Robot-assisted tele-ultrasound on 5G

Ultrasound specialists at the Hainan Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Sanya and the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital of Hangzhou successfully conducted robotic tele-ultrasound examinations over a 5G network of four patients with confirmed and suspected Covid-19. They were in Tongxiang and Wuhan, cities some 2600+ kilometres distant.

Report: Cynthia E. Keen

Described online in IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency, lead author Shengzheng Wu MD, of the ultrasound department of Hainan Hospital, and co-authors, explain how they conducted this pilot study to validate a remote bedside ultrasound protocol. They used a MGIUS-R3 robotic ultrasound system (MGI Tech Co., Shenzhen, China) with a specially designed ultrasound instrument with multiple replaceable probes (Wisonic Co., Shenzhen, China) controlled by a robotic arm through sensors. The system was operated by an onsite sonographer who could initiate and visualise procedures from an adjacent room. 

With the aid of a 5G network, the protocol of tele-ultrasound is applicable, and is worth consideration as a feasible strategy during such a current infectious public health event

Shengzheng Wu et al.

Acquired images were compressed and transmitted on a 5G network with an upload rate of 130 Mbps and download of 930 Mbps. Network latency was 23-30 ms, a rate, the authors reported, seemed like real-time. All cases showed varying abnormalities in both lungs, and cardiopulmonary function and blood volume was assessed remotely. 

‘The clinical practice of the four cases of robot-assisted tele-ultrasound provides the possibility of solving the problem of early imaging of patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 in isolation,’ write the authors. ‘It enables early diagnosis and repeated assessment, while protecting ultrasound specialists from infection and minimising the use of personal protective equipment. With the aid of a 5G network, the protocol of tele-ultrasound is applicable, and is worth consideration as a feasible strategy during such a current infectious public health event.”

15.11.2020

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